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Tiny Bubble: Sylvie’s Retirement Home in France


This is Sylvie’s Tiny Bubble — a gorgeous tiny house on wheels designed and built by La Tiny House in France. The home feel similar to a teardrop camper, but with so much more space.

Her home was designed to be retirement-friendly. While it does feature a loft guest room, everything else Sylvie needs is on the first floor: A ground-floor bed, a wide-open floor plan and a wet bath with plenty of space.

Off the front door is a partially-enclosed porch that protects her from winds but still lets the light in!

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Sylvie’s Tiny Bubble with Protected Porch

Love the exterior combination of metal and shingled siding.

Inside is clean and spacious with open shelving.

The couch doubles as eating space.

The kitchen is so simple and functional.

Stairs lead up to the guest loft bedroom.

The bathroom is an open wet-bath.

Large shower with a seat.

The ground floor bedroom has this awesome round window.

And up in the loft, this smaller window opens for ventilation.

Here are the beautiful plans for this work-of-art home!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Avatar jerry dycus
    June 9, 2020, 11:17 am

    I never thought I’d hear the term teardrop retirement home yet here it is and a nice one too..

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 9, 2020, 1:54 pm

      Right? They really made it work!

  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    June 9, 2020, 5:54 pm

    I really love this. As I am at that retirement age myself this is definitely something I would like to do, but the part of me that is still a kid wants the lkft for my bedroom 😊

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 10, 2020, 1:51 pm

      Haha right? Something about lofts seems so fun and appealing.

  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    June 9, 2020, 5:55 pm

    loft not lkft 🤦‍♀️

    • Avatar Kathy
      June 16, 2020, 5:05 pm

      Theres, sorry but your pointing out of a simple misspelling that was undoubtedly a misclick, was pretty rude.

      • Avatar Eric
        June 17, 2020, 9:10 pm

        I fail to see how correcting her own misspelling is rude. I sat there myself trying to figure out what it was supposed to be until I saw “her” correction.

        But then you stated Theres instead of Theresa. My thought was instantly pot, kettle, black because I was thinking it should have been There’s. And then “I” realised you hadn’t spelled her name correctly.

        Now that’s been about 2 minutes I’ll never get back again… oh, wait, you can’t get it back anyway. Chill, life’s too short eh?

        • Avatar Kathy
          June 17, 2020, 9:14 pm

          I consider myself properly run down and whipped for my error. Theresa, my apologies… I obviously missed the name march

        • Avatar Theresa Perdue
          June 20, 2020, 12:31 pm

          thank you Eric 😊

      • Avatar Theresa Perdue
        June 19, 2020, 1:38 pm

        It was my own mistake that I pointed out? I don’t understand how I was rude?

        • Avatar Kathy
          June 19, 2020, 6:20 pm

          Theresa, I apologize again for missing that it was you pointing out your own mistake.

  • Avatar Claude Philippe Pariseault
    June 9, 2020, 9:13 pm

    In deed, it is a very nice tiny house, everything is in there for confort and sleeping spaces. I just wonder, if a non resident could retire in one of those in France??

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 10, 2020, 1:45 pm

      Retire, possibly. I know immigration is tough because work visas in the EU are hard to come by. But perhaps retiring would be ok? I’m not entirely certain.

      • Avatar James D.
        June 15, 2020, 4:40 pm

        Well, depends where you’re from, France is a member of the EU, which means that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can live in France visa-free.

        For non-EU origin, you’ll need a long-stay ‘visitor’ visa and make preparations for it at least three months before you go but the visitor visa has limitations, and you might also need to register for a residence permit once you arrive in France, depending on your situation and the requirements in the specific location in France you plan to retire to…

        The French Government provides a guide to all aspects of moving to France, which is available in various different languages online… https://www.immigration.interieur.gouv.fr/Accueil-et-accompagnement/Le-livret-d-information-Venir-vivre-en-France

        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
          June 17, 2020, 6:49 am

          Thanks, James!

        • Avatar Claude Philippe Pariseault
          June 17, 2020, 7:10 am

          Thank you James, very informative!

  • Avatar Nerida Duncan
    June 9, 2020, 10:00 pm

    Sweet to look at but very impractical for long term living and especially for a retiree. No kitchen bench space would be an absolute killer for me and the usual mistake of cramming an oven up against a wall leaving no room to safely place pots on the stove is so dangerous. You need to be able to safely turn pots so their handles are not over flame or steam. That means a bit of bench space on both sides of the cook top. I see this over and over again in tiny homes. Also not enough cupboard space either for my liking but they did get a washing machine in by the look of it.

    Having to walk through a wet bath to get to your bed – that’s insane. Makes it easy to go to the loo in the middle of the night but I would not want the risk of slipping every time you get in or out of bed and the hassle of drying your feet each time as well or having to dry mop the floor every time you have shower would be a total pain. I want to relax after a shower not do housework like mopping bathroom floors.

    And making the beds! How do you manage that without busting your back or kneeling on the mattress while trying to change the sheets? I guess you would end up in sleeping bags but I prefer sheets and quilts that can be washed and dried more easily.

    I do like the porch though, a bit of outside space is a bonus when living small.

    The outside styling is cute and original but the inside is not all that practical. This one is not for me.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 10, 2020, 1:45 pm

      Yes in this case it fit was the client, Sylvie, wanted, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

  • Avatar Maria
    June 10, 2020, 6:52 am

    The only thing that I don’t like is a wet bath. Other wise it is nice.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 10, 2020, 1:42 pm

      Yes I think I would slip… hah..

  • Avatar Alison
    June 10, 2020, 5:28 pm

    From the floor plan, it looks like there is space to put a curtain around the shower in the corner. Just put the floor drain over there, and you no longer have a wet room, but more of a dedicated shower area. I like this house a lot.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 11, 2020, 2:26 pm

      Good idea!

  • Avatar sheebe
    June 11, 2020, 12:19 pm

    Wow! This is beautiful and comfortable looking. Designed with a lot of thought and common sense. Really love this. Am drooling.

  • Avatar Kathy
    June 16, 2020, 5:27 pm

    So much to like here!! I am liking the split bathroom, but not so in love with the lack of a door to the toilet side of things. Maybe there is a point here that I am missing? There is nothing wrong with a wet bath like many RVs have but in this case as far as I can tell the “wet” part includes only the shower and wash basin……a shower curtain and a well-placed drain will prevent the wet feet and slippage that concerns others. I further love the option of a downstairs bed and an upstairs larger bed. Sometimes if I stay up too late, I may just want to fall into a convenient downstairs bed! However I am thinking that for me, I would rather have a daybed instead of a sofa, and a craft room/office instead of a twin bed. Love the pared down but totally doable kitchen. Some one was way clever with this floor plan. The outside is adorable too, and the porch with wood screen on each side is very nice as well. Is there any way to find out the price of this cutie as shown? I would like to see what something similar would cost in the USA. Love this – congrats to the owner and builder!!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 17, 2020, 6:41 am

      In terms of pricing I’m not sure. The builder only sells in Europe, and they don’t share the prices for their custom units, I’m afraid. But I do think there’s a door on the bathroom as a whole, just not between the toilet and bedroom.

      • Avatar Kathyh
        June 17, 2020, 6:26 pm

        Thank you Natalie. A door in the spot between the refrigerator and the bath area would make
        sense, and be sufficient to provide some privacy if you had guests.

        • Avatar James D.
          June 21, 2020, 3:39 am

          It’s more than that…

          Bathroom entrance door doubles as the shower stall partition, which is why the drawing shows it in the half open position… All the way open would cover up the shower, while the photo of the shower you can see part of the door closed to the left of the shower.

          While the lower main bed has cabinet style sliding door panels. In the photo of the toilet you can make out the guide rail grooves carved into the wood just below the opening to the bed. Basically took a laminated panel that slides into the grooves and used trim end pieces to frame it and serve as the grab handles… Panels on both sides come together to close off the bed from the bathroom. So bed can be completely cut off except for the windows…

          Additional detail also not mentioned is bed can be lifted, you can see the bed frame handle at the entrance to the bed. So there’s also storage beneath the bed…

        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
          June 21, 2020, 12:46 pm

          Thanks for seeing all those things!

    • Avatar James D.
      June 17, 2020, 3:52 pm

      Actually, the bed has cabinet style sliding doors to close it off…

      While, some things to keep in mind…

      Anything with a tank and mobile needs to factor drainage with where the tank will be placed because there is limited floor space and thus limited height room for the slope the drainage lines will need to reach the tank from all drainage sources throughout the whole structure… This includes the kitchen and washing machine, as well as that flush toilet, and not just the shower and bathroom sink.

      Mind, it is a reason to raise the toilet because the drainage starts at a very low point. So, unless directly over the tank you typically need to raise the floor to give room for the drainage lines, which would have meant raising the shower as well unless it was directly over the tank. So something to consider if you don’t want anything to step over or get in the way of the walkway…

      Placement of tanks also factors to weight distribution/balance, which has to be considered to ensure the structure is safe to tow.

      While countries like France have to deal with much stricter max and road size limitations. Around 3.5 metric tons (or 7,716 pounds) is the usual max for weight and Europe generally has smaller roads and lacks highways. So can’t make them as heavy or as big as can be done in the States and Canada that can go about over 3 times that limit before needing a special license or permit…

      Just to give some idea of the design limitations they have to deal with…

      Though, a wetbath doesn’t necessarily mean the whole floor gets wet or will stay wet for very long. Or that it will necessarily be slippery when wet. Floors with textures, for example, are slip resistant and a well ventilated space will tend to dry off faster than a closed off space. The shower would be the main source of any splashing but a curtain will contain that and only have the flow of water up to the drain then, leaving the rest of the floor dry… How the floor is sealed, etc. can also determine how much of the water just goes down the drain vs staying on the floor…

      While another reason for a wetbath floor is it’s easier to keep clean as you can easily wash the whole floor and anything that happens with the toilet and sink can be better contained to that room…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
        June 18, 2020, 1:05 pm

        Also they make sticky mats to help reduce slip. We had a bathroom that was super slippy in an old apartment and had three of them scattered about.

      • Avatar Kathy
        June 21, 2020, 4:56 pm

        James D. I totally agree with Natalie’s observation of your powers of observation, LOL. I had seen none of those things. There’s sure is a LOT of engineering in that tiny area with all the different doors and/or sliders! And thanks for pointing out that the bed could be lifted for more storage. My thought was that it perhaps could be accessed from the rear of the TH and maybe housed the clean and gray water storage. Or perhaps future batteries and an inverter if the new owner wants to go off grid. Or simply possessions that can’t be stored elsewhere.

        • Avatar James D.
          June 21, 2020, 6:23 pm

          All good ideas… Exterior storage access is always an option as well for any built in storage compartments, and sometimes it can be accessed from both interior and exterior, but note the second photo of the exterior…

          Mind the loft has to be by the highest point, which puts it towards the front of the tear drop. The first photo after the shower, also shows the bed stops a little short of the exterior front wall, which makes sense when you note the front exterior is where the propane tanks are connected and mounted…

          So this is actually by the front where the tow tongue is located. So would mean removing the tanks to access it from that direction. Could still work but only for something rarely accessed. So doesn’t seem they went with that option this time.

          The rear is where you enter the THOW and have that built in little living room bench sitting area that looks like it can be converted into a small bed. Though, built ins like that could have an exterior hatch added or turned into a bump out for additional storage.

          Something to keep an eye out on drawings will be details like a dotted or dashed lines that indicate range of motion, hinge points, things that can be opened, transparent intersection points, etc. to better understand what the drawing is showing…

  • Avatar Signi T
    June 17, 2020, 2:03 pm

    Brilliant design. I am amazed that there’s 2 sleeping areas and all else that one needs to live comfortably! And in France no less!! Well done!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 18, 2020, 1:09 pm

      I love that they have two sleeping areas and one on the ground floor!

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